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Music Review: Cowboy Junkies – Sing in My Meadow

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The Cowboy Junkies plunge headlong into a guitar-drenched flood of bluesy, rough-around-the-edges rock on Sing in My Meadow (Latent Recordings). The third and latest installment of their four-volume Nomad series – following the experimental, Asian-echoed volume one (Remnin Park) and the folk-rooted volume two, a tribute to the late Vic Chesnutt (Demons) – it’s the most accessible one so far and among the most brazen efforts in the veteran band’s entire catalog.

Reverb and thick, corrosive riffs drive this thing, alternating between robust, menacing cuts (“Late Night Radio,” “3rd Crusade”) and comparatively abstract, mood-driven ones (“It’s Heavy Down Here,” “A Bride’s Place”). Evocative whether on the fringes of a groove or entrenched within it, Margo Timmons envelops the air more than she articulates any set of lyrics or notes.

At the outset of the Nomad series, the Junkies set out to record four albums in 18 months – Sing in My Meadow took four days – an ambitious plan by just about any measure. More impressive than their efficiency, though, is how they’ve enriched each volume to date with its own respective character and theme. Prolifiacy is one thing; ingenuity, executed so strikingly as this, is something else altogether. The fourth and final volume can’t come soon enough.

 

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About Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson is the publisher of www.writeonmusic.com and a freelance music journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as No Depression, Spinner, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cinema Sentries, Blinded by Sound, and Blogcritics, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011). He has interviewed and profiled such artists as Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Jakob Dylan, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, Charli XCX, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Susanna Hoffs, Bruce Hornsby, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Alan Parsons, Bill Frisell, Joan Armatrading, Christina Perri, Don Felder (The Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Katie Melua, and Buddy Guy, among many others.